There are an astounding number of deaths annually, (128,000) linked to prescription drugs. That represents 10 times the number of people killed in automobile accidents involving drunk drivers. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) refers to prescribed drugs as ”one of the most significant perils to human health resulting from human activity.”
In their report, the ISMP ”calculated that in 2011 prescription drugs were associated with two to four million people in the US experiencing serious, disabling, or fatal injuries”.
Yet, one in nine Americans is taking five or more prescription drugs. With this practice of “polypharmacy,” each new drug added to your system increases the risk of drug interactions and adverse reactions. Even though both doctors and pharmacists are made aware of drug-drug interaction problems and contraindications, the more drugs that are combined, the more likely that they will go missed. That does not even include the introduction of herbs and supplements that people may be taking and not mentioning to their healthcare providers which can make the adverse interactions soar.
The British Medical Journal recently published an article by Jeanne Lenzer which cited a report from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). ”Leading this pack of oft-misused drugs are anticoagulants like warfarin, which the authors report “prevents ischemic strokes in approximately 1% of high risk patients a year, but causes major bleeding in an estimated 3%.” Other harm-causing drugs include an antibiotic (levofloxacin); a cancer drug (carboplatin) and a hypertension drug (lisinopril).”
Bear in mind that many medicines are to address problems that proper nutrition and exercise may improve.
Think about this and the possible interactions every time you get a prescription and have to use one.
- June 17th